OCT Seeb Captain Yousuf Rahim picks up a Man of the Match award

Three teams of Arab Omanis are playing in the Oman Cricket Board’s first ever tournament organised solely for the indigenous population of the country. The Omani Summer Cricket Tournament is being played in order to broaden the appeal of the game and so that a new source of cricketers for the national team can be created.

“It’s a good move by Oman to bring in the Arabs to play cricket,” says ACC Development Manager Bandula Warnapura.

The tournament has received good coverage in the local press and the cricketers are to be congratulated on playing in temperatures which have reached the high 90s Fahrenheit. There have been high scores too in the Twenty20 event, which is being played on Thursday and Friday afternoons at the Oman Aviation Club IV grounds.

The best match so far has been the one between OCT Muscat and OCT Seeb where, chasing 207, Seeb won with a ball to spare, their captain Yousuf Rahim making an unbeaten 76 after Abbas Albalushi’s 57. The final will be played in the third week of September.

The Oman Cricket Board also has plans to play other Arab teams in the Gulf. Of their neighbours, Saudi Arabia is closest to fielding a team of Arab players. “Oman are in line to field a team for the Asian Games next year, should they feel they have reached the right standard. Either way their action will encourage other countries to take up cricket with the locals, which can only be a good thing in the long run”, says Mr. Warnapura.

Related: Oman Country Profile

Filed Aug 26th, 2009